Reform, Rebellion, Civil War, Settlement, 1258-1272
Imprint: Yale University Press
Series: The English Monarchs Series
After coming to the throne aged just nine, Henry III spent much of his reign peaceably. Conciliatory and deeply religious, he created a magnificent court, rebuilt Westminster Abbey, and invested in soft power. Then, in 1258, the king faced a great revolution. Led by Simon de Montfort, the uprising stripped him of his authority and brought decades of personal rule to a catastrophic end. In the brutal civil war that followed, the political community was torn apart in a way unseen again until Cromwell.
Renowned historian David Carpenter brings to life the dramatic events in the last phase of Henry III’s momentous reign. Carpenter provides a fresh account of the king’s strenuous efforts to recover power and sheds new light on the characters of the rebel de Montfort, Queen Eleanor, and Lord Edward—the future Edward I. A groundbreaking biography, Henry III illuminates as never before the political twists and turns of the day, showing how politics and religion were intimately connected.
“There are few historians working today who know so much and write so well. Taken together, the two volumes of Henry III . . . set a gold standard for medieval royal biography.”—Dan Jones, Times (UK)
“A superb work of scholarship, the fruit of a lifetime’s study of the subject. It is elegantly written, consistently shrewd and always good-humoured. It completely supersedes Maurice Powicke.”—Jonathan Sumption, The Spectator
“This volume completes a truly magisterial account of the longest reign of the Middle Ages. It is a work of which the author should feel deservedly proud.”—David Robinson, Country Life
“One of the more remarkable scholarly ventures of our time, this is the crowning achievement not only of its author but of an entire tradition of historical scholarship. . . . It deserves to be celebrated for as long as England’s past remains worthy of debate.”—Nicholas Vincent, Literary Review
“Combine[s] scholarship with stylish prose.”—Richard Foreman, Aspects of History
“In David Carpenter, Henry has finally found a wiser, better informed and more fair-minded chronicler to do him and his reign justice.”—Andrew Spencer, History Today
“Vigorous, vivid and even-handed.”—Ferdinand Mount, London Review of Books